Action against Bristol post photographer – Simon Chapman Photo-Cop

Bristol Post logo

Submitted anonymously to Autonomy News

WARNING! To state-agents..we collect intelligence too!
Message to Simon Chapman

As a free-lance photographer in a careless rush to make a fast buck, you snap images that expose people’s identity, when it’s totally possible to shoot from a different angle which doesn’t show the face. This inconsiderate funding of your lifestyle has earned you a reminder to take this as a warning!

There have been many demonstrations recently, and Simon Chapman has been out making a name for himself (and some money) at most of them. Because of this, we paid him a visit

We sprayed ‘Simon Chapman Photo-Cop’ on his house and ‘is Big Brov’ on his door. We hoped to attack his car too (Grey Ford Focus registration DE53 XZS) but it wasn’t there when we visited him.

Chapman is the Bristol Branch Secretary of the National Union of Journalists. He has sold images of people to both the Daily Telegraph and the Mirror; and regularly sells his photographs to the Bristol Post (who have a long history of publishing police photographs; encouraging people to snitch, and report on the whereabouts of ‘persons of interest’). Chapman’s images often show people in incriminating situations. In his thirst for fame and money, he is effectively an evidence gatherer for the state, and is profiting from putting people at risk.

The history of direct action in Bristol has always been of interest to the mainstream press (especially the Bristol Post). Now, more than ever, self-styled experts, activists and freelancers create careers for themselves out of interpreting the actions of others. Acts of rebellion are passively packaged as click-bait, used as cultural capital in some edgy form of gentrification, and utilised by the state as evidence and leverage in the tired (but sadly enduring) discourse around “good” and “bad” forms of action/anarchism.

Like many others, Simon Chapman has made a career out of gaining credentials within activist circles; before using this as a way to launch a career with the main stream press.

We don’t have a photo of Chapman; but he is medium height, no facial hair, always wearing neutral clothes. Always has a ridiculous telephoto lens on his camera and often a large rucksack with a waterproof cover. He nearly always wears a bucket style sun hat, and walking boots, and behaves very confidently while strutting around taking photos. Maybe now he will look around him a bit more; rather than always pointing the attention on to others.

Times have changed since the Bristol riots of 2011 and the surveillance state is more pervasive…. Though not omniscient. This action is to remind anyone who assists the police in their investigations by documenting moments of rebellion, that we have eyes too… and we are watching you.

Chapman is one individual in a city filled with self-styled media experts, “alternative” journalists and media outlets… but remember, surveillance works both ways, and we are on to you.

We refuse to be mediated or mis-represented. We speak only for ourselves. See you on the streets!